Crashplan packages for Synology Disk Station

For quite some time I am a very happy user of Crashplan, backup service and tool that offers reasonably prices backup storage and can can also be used without their service to backup to another computer running the Crashplan client. I am using it both to backup some of my data to Crashplan’s servers as well as to backup to a few friends of mine and provide backup services to my family. So far this works fine, especially since I have it running on my Synology Disk Station (a DS1010+) with plenty of storage. The neat thing is that my NAS is automatically backed up externally and I do not require a PC to provide secure backup services for some friends and within my family.

The easiest way to install Crashplan on your Synology Disk Station is by installing the package provided by PC Load Letter, I used to do install the Linux version manually before which was not difficult at all either, but since the autoupdate did not work then, using the package really is a better solution. Furthermore, it does not require any hacking or tweaking of the box, so everybody can do this (actually it’s so simple, there’s not excuse anymore not to backup your NAS).

To make the package available you need to add the PCLoadLetter repository with URL http://packages.pcloadletter.co.uk as a source for 3rd party applications. See the Synology Support site on how to install 3rd party applications. Next you can select the Crasplan package from the packages available from the Community section, please note that you need to select the correct package (which is the plan version unless you have a PRO or PROe subscription). Please note that Crashplan requires Java installed, so you may need to install that dependency as well (the package installer will tell you).

Once Crashplan has been installed and is running, it is time to configure Crashplan on the Synology Disk Station. For this, you need Crashplan also installed on a (PC/Mac/Linux) desktop that is supported by Crashplan and can run it’s graphical interface. Download the application from Crashplan’s download page and install it. There is no need to run it locally (but you may opt to do so later to use Crashplan to make backups to your NAS). However, some things need some tweaking to use the client to setup the headless Crashplan installation on the NAS.

The Crashplan support site has an excellent guide on how to Connect to a Headless CrashPlan Desktop that one can use to manage everything from a remote computer using using their client (please note that this assumes you have SSH enabled). I opted for a slightly different approach for my two use cases:

  • On my work laptop (Windows 7) I have Crashplan installed but disabled the service as my employer’s policies do not allow it. There I have simply setup PuTTY to forward local port 4243 to localhost:4243 when I connect to my NAS using SSH. This allows me to simply launch the Crashplan client without any modifications that can reach the service on my Synology disk station as long as I have an SSH connection open.
  • On my private laptop (Max OS X) I have Crashplan installed and use it as well to backup to my NAS. There  I use iTerm to manage my SSH connections, but basically all that does is store the exact ssh commands and parameters used, so that is no difference from what Synology’s guide describes. On that system I change the ui.parameter settings whenever needed to switch between local service running on its standard port and the remote one forwarded using ssh running on another port.

Through the client, you can either associate Crashplan running on your NAS with your existing account (if you have that already setup) or register for a new account. After this you can setup remote backup destinations as well as allow others to backup to your NAS as well as setup your NAS as a destination for your other computers (under the same account). Crashplan has documented this all on their support website.

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